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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s east coast, running from Trincomalee in the north to the grasslands of Yala in the south, has good reason to feel optimistic about the future. Twelve years ago, when my partner Lucy visited the region on a teaching exchange, her minibus had to pass through dozens of army checkpoints to get anywhere near this region. The Tamil insurgency, which blighted Sri Lanka for nearly 30 years, made travel hazardous. A few months later, the east was devastated along with much of the south coast by the Boxing Day tsunami. The natural disaster claimed 40,000 lives on the island alone.

 
A recent delegation to China led by Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa warned that there may be public unrest if China carries out a new plan to create a 15,000 acre special economic zone in Sri Lanka’s remote Hambantota district. Together with the former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, the delegation personally delivered their doomsday message in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.  

 

 

China’s newly developed Xian Y-20 would be in contention if Sri Lanka is looking to buy more Chinese military transport craft, making it one of the first countries outside China to get the new plane. That would mark a new high for Sino-Sri Lankan relations that have been on the mend since Wickremesinghe’s government put the brakes on big-ticket Chinese projects soon after it came to power ousting pro-China president Mahinda Rajapaksa in January last year.

 

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), apparently proud that it is being described as one of the most powerful trade unions in Asia, suddenly staged a countrywide token strike from 8 a.m. on Wednesday to 8 a.m. on Thursday with the media showing thousands of poor people who travelled to public hospitals from long distances, going away without relief and in more agony.

 

In many countries, banks are encouraged to demonstrate their ethical credentials by self-regulating and giving money back to various causes. This is our understanding of the term corporate social responsibility.

 
 

It appears that Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka’s president, has reached out to America’s president-elect Donald Trump. It’s not clear precisely what language was used, though it looks like Sirisena wants Trump to help him sweep allegations of abuses that occurred during the nation’s civil war under the carpet. Alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, which could include war crimes, have plagued the Sri Lankan armed forces since the war ended in May 2009.

 

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has asked Donald Trump to pressure the UN Human Rights Council to drop war crimes allegations against the country's troops.

 

Last week members of the Sri Lanka Red Cross, from Governance to Branch Officers took part in an exercise to determine the next course of action in humanitarian programming for Sri Lanka Red Cross in the next decade.

 

We in Sri Lanka tend to understand this government purely as a coalition of political parties. But I think this is also a coalition of ideologies, and what’s interesting is that the ideological fault lines don’t neatly fit the party divisions. 

 
The US President-elect’s 100 day plan includes several tough proposals on the lobbying industry. Which is -kind of- bad news for Sri Lanka. In the plan, Trump notes that he will enforce a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service. He has also called for a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
 


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At the moment, Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari is able to stop the violence by pushing the Islamists to the vast Sambisa forests of the Borno State At the moment, Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari is able to stop the violence by pushing the Islamists to the vast Sambisa forests of the Borno State
 
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Sometime in later half of last year when Indo-Pak tensions peaked, military operation heads in J&K received unusual calls on their landlines. Sometime in later half of last year when Indo-Pak tensions peaked, military operation heads in J&K received unusual calls on their landlines.
 
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India remians the inflexible bête-noir for Pakistan, yet there are few books by Indian authors that have sought to interpret the prodigal neighbour in a holistic, informed and empathetic manner.

 
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The line that Mortimer Durand drew across a small map in 1893 has bled the Pashtun heart ever since. More than a century later both sides of that line remain restless. But the mystery behind what actually happened on 12 November 1893 has never ...

 
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